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Our dehumidifier

Originally, we hadn't thought of purchasing a dehumidifier for our condo here, figuring we'd just use the air-conditioning when the humidity became too oppressive. We'd never needed a dehumidifier in other places we lived and just hadn't given the possibility any thought. But a very smart neighbor who had been living in San Pedro for a couple of years recommended we bring one, so we took note. After some research, Barry realized that we wouldn't be able to keep the A/C cycling on frequently enough to get the humidity to a reasonable level without living in a very frigid condo -- and busting our budget in the process, since electricity (called "current" here) is a lot pricier than back in North Carolina. Since we don't even like overly air-conditioned spaces and didn't want to live in the cold even if the budget allowed, a portable dehumidifier started looking like a very smart option.

When doing our research, the main negatives of using a dehumidifier mentioned by reviewers were the heat and noise the unit generates in use. We figured the noise wouldn't bother us too much, as we've always preferred to sleep with a white-noise machine rather than hear the various things that go bump in the night, including our first Boston Terrier, Pepper, who snored like a truck driver due to her little squashed face, bless her heart. Paisley has more of a snout and is much quieter, but the white-noise habit has persisted. We always turn on the A/C or fan when we stay in hotels to keep the noise from the hall and surrounding rooms down as well.

As for excess heat put off by the unit, that could certainly be a problem since Belize isn't really known for cold temperatures (!!), but we figured we'd give it a try and could certainly switch to air conditioning when it was unbearable. And we didn't plan to use the dehumidifier during the heat of the day anyway, only in the evenings. Since we live oceanfront where there is typically a nice breeze, we prefer to open our windows and let the sea breeze blow through all day long, then close up at night for security reasons. This would be a perfect time to suck the water out of the air and dry the place out. So, it was decided; we'd give a dehumidifier a try.

We determined that a 50-pint unit would be appropriate for our approximately 1000 square foot condo and purchased a portable Energy Star-certified Frigidaire model for $200 in North Carolina last summer. We kept it in the original box and included it in our shipment (on a pallet) to Belize. We figured that wasn't a huge amount to spend if it would keep our clothes, wood, and other items from molding, and keep us feeling a bit drier and more comfortable in our island home.

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